Simply Optimistic scores at the Valley

Former Kiwi galloper Simply Optimistic ran out a ready winner of the MSC Signs Lockdown Legends Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night, making it back-to-back wins for the NZB Ready To Run Sale graduate.

Prepared by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, Simply Optimistic is raced by their foreman Brendon Hawtin and his father Keith.

The six-year-old gelding was ridden more prominently than planned by Craig Williams and it worked the oracle.

“He’s doing a terrific job,” Hawtin said.

“Big thanks to Trent and Natalie, they’ve done a terrific job with this horse. I think the key to him is keeping him fresh and just keeping him to 1200.

“Spacing his runs, three weeks between runs seems to be the key.”

Purchased for $230,000 from Regal Farm by Stuart Hale at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale, the Hawtins came to own the son of Encosta de Lago after injury precluded him from racing in Hong Kong.

“He fractured a pelvis after he won at Randwick last year,” Hawtin said. “He twigged a suspensory back in New Zealand as an early four-year-old. He’s spent more time in a box in rehab and then in a paddock than what he has on a racecourse.

“He’s always shown plenty from day one and we’ve given him all the time he’s needed. We’re reaping the rewards now.

“I purchased him from the New Zealand ready to runs for a client in Hong Kong and he had nine starts for the client. He had a few issues by then so he (the client) didn’t want to race any more horses back in New Zealand so he was kind enough to give the horse to me and my father and the rest is history. It’s great.”

The winner of six of 18 starts, Simply Optimistic has won A$200,000 in prizemoney.

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